Ohio AG Blocks Nuclear Bailout Payout

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed to block the payment of nuclear bailout money from House Bill (HB) 6.

HB 6, a bill that bailed out of the nuclear company First Energy, is at the center of the corruption scandal that led to the ousting and arrest of former Ohio Speaker of the House Larry Householder.

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Timken, FirstEnergy Helped Householder Achieve His Dream of Regaining Position as Speaker

FirstEnergy donated generously to Mike DeWine, his son Patrick DeWine, Larry Householder, who wanted to become House speaker for the second time in his life, as well as the Ohio Republican Party, as our special series shows.

FirstEnergy, as well as Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken, helped Householder achieve his dream in January 2019. His first time as speaker was 2001-2004.

Householder, according to a story by cleveland.com, recruited a group of candidates for the House’s 2018 election who would need his help to gain office, the newspaper said, citing a federal charging document.

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DeWine, Timken, Householder Learn the Art of Funneling Donations Through Ohio Republican Party

The Dayton Daily News in January 2014 reported on allegations of pay-to-play in Attorney General DeWine’s office concerning an advisory panel.

His calendar shows he met frequently with (now deceased) Alex Arshinkoff, a lobbyist and the chairman of Summit County Republican Party who represented four companies doing business with DeWine’s office.

DeWine was not the only Ohio Republican engaging in pay-to-play. Indeed, previous news reports and public records show the Ohio Republican Party funneled money to DeWine and now disgraced former House Speaker Larry Householder from such donors as FirstEnergy.

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Ohio House of Representatives Elect Bob Cupp as New Speaker of the House

Rep. Bob Cupp (R-Lima) has been selected to replace Larry Householder (R-Glenford) as Ohio’s new Speaker of the House.

After being charged with participating in a $60 million corruption scandal, Householder was removed in a 90-0 vote. Householder, who is accused of being part of a “racketeering conspiracy involving a 2019 nuclear power plant bailout bill” faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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Conservative Organizations Call For Next Ohio House Speaker to Have Character, Be Supporter of Faith and Family

Even as the Ohio House of Representatives looks to replace disgraced Speaker Larry Householder, a coalition of conservative organizations is urging lawmakers to be thoughtful in how they do so.

Householder and four others were arrested July 21 in connection with a $60 million federal bribery probe in connection with the Legislature’s 2019 bailout of FirstEnergy and its nuclear power plants.

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Political Operative Tyler Fehrman Wore a Wire for the FBI to Catch Matt Borges

Details are emerging on how Tyler Fehrman came to help the FBI bust Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, Matt Borges and three others in an alleged $60 million bribery scheme.

Cleveland.com reported on the details, including an interview with Fehrman, here.

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Ohio Republican Party Frays, Leadership Falters As 2020 Election Heats Up

  Is Jane Timken the leader the Ohio State Republican Party needs to help President Donald Trump win re-election when her party seems to be engaged in a civil war? The stakes are high in the Buckeye State. Trump and Biden are locked in a dead heat, according to a…

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State House Speaker Householder Expresses ‘Tremendous Frustration’ with Gov. DeWine’s ‘Restart Ohio’ Plan

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) expressed sharp criticism on Monday for Governor Mike DeWine’s plans to reopen the economy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic over what he called an “unwillingness to recognize” the needs of small business.

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Republican Lawmakers Grow Restless, Call for DeWine to Reopen Ohio

Some Ohio Republican lawmakers are calling for Gov. Mike DeWine to reopen the state.

The governor said Friday he would create a plan to gradually reopen the state, The Plain-Dealer said.

House Speaker Larry Householder convened a task force that will study how to reopen the economy. State Rep. Paul Zeltwanger (R-OH-54) said Ohio needs to plan for controlling the disease for when segments of the economy reopen. He pointed out that some question whether 253 deaths as of Sunday justify the closures.

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LaRose Draws Heat for Moving Primary Election Date, a Move Called ‘Anarchy’ and ‘Executive Fiat’

Skeptics are calling Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s June 2 primary election date theoretical, saying the Legislature, not he, has the power to move the date.

Adjectives that are being thrown around include “anarchy” and “executive fiat.”

LaRose is already dictating the rules 88 county boards of elections should follow, the Ohio Capital Journal said. These LaRose rules include the dictate that county boards of election should not accept any new voter registrations ahead of the not-yet-official June 2 election.

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Mark Fraizer Joins the Ohio House of Representatives

The Ohio House of Representatives decided quickly which candidate they wanted to replace Scott Ryan in the 71st House District. Rep. Mark Fraizer (R-Newark), a former page and current city councilman from Newark, won the appointment to the job Wednesday.

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After Ohio State Speaker Householder Accused Senate of Stalling House Bills, State Senate President Obhof Announced Sentencing Bill as Top Priority

Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) expressed his displeasure with the Senate last week. He told reporters, “We’ve got bills over in the Senate that we’d like to see the Senate move. We’ve got several priority bills that we’ve waited for quite some time on and don’t really understand why we’re having a problem over there getting bills to move.” In response, Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) discussed his priorities with Gongwer.

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Campaign Against HB 6 Will Not File Petition Signatures on Time, But Fight Not Over Yet

Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts released a statement saying they will not file their petitions to referendum House Bill 6 with the Secretary of State’s office as planned. Signatures were due Monday. In spite of the setback, spokesman Gene Pierce said, “The fight to put House Bill 6 on the ballot in 2020 isn’t over yet though.”

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Ohio House of Representatives Adds Two New Faces

  Two new members were sworn in as State Representatives in the Ohio House on Thursday. Rep. Jason Stephens (R-Kits Hill) is replacing former Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) who left to become President of the University of Rio Grande. Cindy Abrams (R-Harrison) has been appointed to the spot left vacant…

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Lawyers and Lobbyists Likely to Have Income Tax Deduction Restored in Bill Giving Deductions to Teachers

When the biennium budget was passed in July, a last minute provision added in Conference Committee took away the Business Income Deduction (BID) from two specific groups – lawyers and lobbyists. The deduction may be returned thanks to Senate Bill 26, a bill originally designed to give teachers a write-off when they spend unreimbursed money for their classrooms.

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Charter Schools See Relief in Budget After Playing Defense for Decades

Charter Schools in Ohio have been facing mounting regulations every year with very small, if any, spending increases since their creation in 1997. Charters, which are called “community schools” in Ohio law, are public schools with no legal access to local tax dollars. They are required to abide by some laws and exempt from others. The exemptions were expected to provide charters with greater flexibility and lower costs.

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Drag Queen No Show at Planned Crawford County Fair Protest

  BUCYRUS, Ohio — Kyle Gale, the drag queen whose Drag 101 class had to be moved from the public library in Delaware County, planned to protest State Senate candidate Melissa Ackison at the Crawford County Fair on Friday. At the last minute, Gale called off the event. Gale told his…

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Ohio’s ‘Nuclear Bailout’ Bill Stuck in Legislative Limbo

  COLUMBUS, Ohio — First Energy gave the Ohio Legislature until June 30 to pass House Bill 6, which opponents called a bailout. Failure to pass it by the company’s imposed deadline would result in the shutdown of at least one of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants, the company warned. The…

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While the Budget Remains Unfinished, DeWine and Some Legislators Go Fishing

  Gov. Mike DeWine and some legislators had fun celebrating the 40th Fish Ohio Day on Lake Erie last week. It was a grand celebration of fishing just before the Independence Day holiday, but there was business left unfinished in Columbus. At the 40th #FishOhio day with @LtGovHusted @boblatta @JayHottinger…

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Ohio Budget Process Stalls, House and Senate Vote to Extend

  The Ohio House of Representatives met for a short, Sunday evening session to approve two bills and reject Senate amendments to a third. They were operating under a June 30 deadline for passage of the biennial budget, House Bill 166, and the budget for the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation…

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Concerns Arise About Whether Ohio Will Pass Budget by June 30 Deadline: ‘We Are Stuck’

  The Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate are still negotiating the biennium budget, House Bill 166. Conference Committee members continued meeting Friday and Saturday before the looming Sunday deadline. One state representative who wished to remain anonymous told The Ohio Star that the House is planning to meet…

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As Ohio’s Constitutional Carry Bill Is Approved by the House Federalism Committee, Its Survival Remains Dubious

  COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Chairman of the House Federalism Committee, State Representative John Becker (R-Union Township), scheduled another “possible vote” on House Bill 178 this week. Last Wednesday, after hours of testimony and multiple amendments, Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) “pushed the pause button” and the vote was postponed. The concern was…

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Democrats Call Ohio Speakers’ Opposition to ‘Drag 101’ Classes for Children ‘Unfortunate’

  Eight Democrats in the Ohio House of Representatives signed a joint statement Saturday calling their Speaker’s opposition to LGBTQ-centric events designed for children to be held in area public libraries “unfortunate.” “As we enter the month of PRIDE, Ohio celebrates its diversity in culture and speech – that is…

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